IBM to Resell New Cisco Switches

IBM will be the first storage maker to resell Cisco's new storage switches.

IBM will be the first storage maker to resell Cisco Systems Inc.s new storage switches, officials said today.

Later this quarter, IBM will resell but not co-brand Ciscos MDS 9509 224-port director and MDS 9216 16-port Fibre Channel devices, said Tarek Makansi, director of storage products at the Armonk, N.Y., company.

"We dont feel like the customer loses or gets anything less by a reseller arrangement than by an OEM arrangement. Weve been testing them for several months; the results are good," he said.

IBM would like Cisco, of San Jose, Calif., to add support for FICON, Makansi said. FICON, or Fibre Connection, is IBMs way of establishing high-speed serial connections between mainframes and storage devices.

"We are planning that in a future product announcement," Cisco product manager Paul Eul said, without citing specific details.

IBM will support the Cisco switches with its Enterprise Storage Server (Shark), LTO drives and libraries, the 3590 and 3594 mainframe tape drives, and FAStT midrange storage.

Theyll also support P- and X-series servers, Windows and Linux servers, and various servers from rivals Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

IBM will announce pricing of the Cisco switches later this quarter.